Men need to know it’s okay to Feel. Communicate. Cry. Not know. Listen. Ask.
Men need to know it’s okay to…be men.
Men need to know it’s okay to…be male.
In fact, if we are male, we must make friends with ourselves, even as society rightfully reminds that The Patriarchy has long furthered the destruction & exploitation of women, children, animals, Mother Nature, of “other.”
“The Patriarchy” is problematic, full stop. And, yet, still, somehow, men everywhere, all over this planet, can be and are, everyday, good, kind, loving, empathetic, vulnerable, brave, resilient, caring, selfless.
Two truths, conflicting, held in the mind simultaneously. We’re told that’s the mark of an educated mind.
Because, too, as the Buddhist teachings remind us, and as we can experience—whether woman, nonbinary, male, other—we are all basically good. We are good, fundamentally, beneath the waves of neurosis and capital “I”. Patriarchy with a small “p” can be good, just as matriarchy can be good. “The Patriarchy,” with a capital “T” and “P,” has been and is today the source of endless posturing, selfishness, suffering, internal and external, by all those (not just men) who buy into it. It is a privilege that, like Golem and his Precious, is toxic to the holder of that coveted power. The Patriarchy has raped all of humankind and Nature alike, and does so today.
But as parents, as siblings, brothers, sisters, colleagues, lovers, boyfriends, girlfriends—we must invest in the possibility and reality of manhood as kindness, decency, communicative, questioning, listening, protecting, nurturing— vulnerable but confident in that vulnerability instead of ashamed or suppressing that “weakness,” that is our true superpower.
That men can be good shouldn’t be controversial—but so many men have been so…otherwise…so often, for so many millennia, that the very word is associated with toxicity more than it is with empathy.